Saturday, January 21, 2006

Brugge by Rail

This morning, after a leisurely lie-in (okay, I was up pretty early) we had a walk into the Leffe Cafe to have breakfast. Croques Bam Bam (if I have misspelled that, I am sure that I will be told) for breakfast.

But I am getting ahead of myself. For reasons I cannot account for, I was up at 05:00 local time. I tried getting back to sleep and failed miserably so I grabbed my coat, dropped my key at the front desk and set-out for the sea front. It was lovely and still this morning as I walked by the sea; a but cold, but otherwise, not bad. I stopped at a little all-night store to pick-up some post cards for friends back home and then took a winding way back through the city to the hotel.

Along the way I passed a number of bars that were still open (I was to learn later that some of them had actually just opened for the morning.) and had patrons being served mugs of Leffe, De Konning, and Trappist. Beer at 07:00! Welcome to Belgium.

I arrived back at the hotel as the Continental breakfast was being served so I got a pot of coffee and a croissant and sat writing post cards. I then returned to bed and napped until we had arranged to meet for breakfast. The Leffe is named after the beer of the same name and serves quite a lot of it, yes, even at 10:00.

We stopped at a chemists shoppe on the way over to the restaurant so I could get some naproxium sodium because I missed a step last night because I was looking up when I stepped off it. I didn't fall, but the sudden jolt didn't do my knee any favors.

So, the breakfast was ordered and I got to try a regional favorite that Angie had been telling me about. It is a croques monsieur sandwich which has been covered in bolognese sauce. I have to admit, it was quite good.

Breakfast finished, we did a bit of shopping in Oostende. First off was the Cheese Shoppe. I understand, now, why my friend Brian makes fun of the cheese shoppes we have in the states. They are nothing to the cheese shoppes over here. What a selection!

I did get one really good picture this morning. I really lucked into the picture of the seagull flying past the tower in the Oostende town square. I had to shoot a few until the bird I was watching flew into my camera's sights. After our shopping we headed into

What a lovely town! It was a quick trip into Brugge and then a quick walk into the town proper from the train station.

There are beautiful old buildings everywhere and there is certainly no dearth of bicycles. At the train station, there was a sea of bicycles (see the pictures at the link above) all padlocked. There must have been a few hundred of them!

We walked about for a while looking at the scenery before feeling the need for a beer. (It had been a few hours since Breakfast, after all!) We found and retreated to a quaint little cellar bar. The beer was cool, the conversation was good. It was a good day.

On the train on the way back, we entertained ourselves with a game or charades. Well, it actually started on the platform waiting for the train. The fun was shared by all. We kept playing all the way back to Oostende and although the people around us tried not to let us know that they were watching, it was obvious that they were. Glad that we could make them smile!

Back in Oostende, I was able to get a couple shots of the cathedral and a building with a truly interesting paint job.

I hope that your day has been filled with new and wonderful experiences!

Don Bergquist - 21-January-2001 - Oostende, Belgium

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